Jamberoo artist Halinka Orszulok to host exhibition at Wollongong Art Gallery

Award-winning Jamberoo artist Halinka Orszulok describes her latest work as "photorealist paintings".

"I take the photos first, and then I deliberately make them (the paintings) look like photos," she said.

"It's deliberately replicating the look of a photograph.

"What it does is it suggests a moment that is passing... It gives you that sense of a connection to a real place, and experience of that place."

Orszulok's new exhibition, Black Bob's Creek, is taking place at Wollongong Art Gallery.

"For this exhibition I have focused on an area in the Southern Highlands called Black Bob's Creek and the evocative historical layers that can be found there," she said.

Black Bob's Creek runs through a small gorge, located close to Hoddle's Crossroads on the Hume Highway at Sutton Forest.

Orszulok said she saw a sign saying 'Black Bob's Creek' during her travels, and wanted to find out more about the area and the story behind it.

The photographs Orszulok sought to replicate were taken of a night in the already "quite dark" setting.

"These place names, of the crossroads, the highway and even Black Bob's Creek, tell the story of colonisers dividing up and laying claim to land that was being 'discovered' for European settlement," Orszulok said.

"'Black Bob' was in fact Robert Crawford, commander to Surveyor General Sir Thomas Mitchell, renowned for his fiery temper, hence 'Black Bob' Crawford.

Halinka Orszulok. Picture: File image

Halinka Orszulok. Picture: File image

"At this site behind the VC Mackey rest area on the Hume Highway, one can find an old concrete bridge that formed part of the original Great Old South Road that linked the Southern Highlands and Goulburn.

"Other historical remnants remain, like the convict cut stone steps leading down to the waterholes below the bridge. I found this area fascinating to paint and research."

In 2018, Orszulok took home a prestigious $50,000 art prize at her first attempt.

Orszulok won the coveted Glover Prize for her painting based on Launceston's Cataract Gorge.

She will host an artist talk for Black Bob's Creek at the Wollongong Art Gallery on Wednesday, March 4 from 11am to 12pm.

The exhibition opens on March 6 and runs until May 17.

Orszulok has previously exhibited in Sydney and the Southern Highlands, but not in the Illawarra.

"I have not had a show locally before, and it will be my first solo show at a regional gallery," she said.

"If the title intrigues you like it intrigued me, come and check it out."